Postgraduate Course

Course details

Study options

Part-time: 2 years

UK fee

£1,050 per 20 credits (2024/25)

Course level



PG Dip

Start date



Derby Campus

The Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management is ideal both for specialist HR practitioners and for general managers who would like to improve their portfolio of skills. Accredited by the CIPD, it offers a thorough and highly relevant learning programme which you can customise to meet your specific career needs.

Deliver genuine business impact

Our course explores people management practices and policies, with a strong emphasis on how they help organisations achieve improved performance.

We set the HRM specialism firmly within the broader field of business, management and corporate strategy. You’ll gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of organisations, how they are managed and the external challenges they face.

We draw on latest thinking, pioneering research and fascinating case studies, including looking at HRM in an international context. 

Professional credibility

This course is your stepping stone towards Chartered Membership of the CIPD, a major advantage if you want to raise your professional profile and improve your career prospects.

From the start of the course you will join the CIPD so that you have full access to restricted member information sources on its website and to local branch network events which will support your studies.

Once you complete the Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management, you will gain Associate status of the CIPD and the Institute will recognise that you’ve fully satisfied the knowledge criteria for Chartered status.

Real-world learning in action

All your assignments and reports reflect real-world scenarios and are usually based on your own workplace practice and experiences. By investigating current business issues from a HRM perspective, you can add substantial value to your organisation as you work towards your qualifications.

Our students choose to undertake projects which are directly relevant to their role and the needs of their employer. These have covered everything from employee engagement to organisational change, talent management to the evaluation of training. You’ll gain new perspectives and insights into the HR role, along with ideas which you can take back to your own workplace. 

Build your networks

Figures from the profession will share their knowledge with you. You’ll be invited to masterclasses and guest lectures delivered by influential thinkers. Such as our Visiting Professors in HRM, Dr Linda Holbeche and Professor Lynette Harris we also run ‘expert witness’ sessions where you can question senior HR managers about their careers.

We work closely with the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire branch of the CIPD which boasts 3,000 plus members. They hold events at the University where you can make new contacts in a professional forum. You’ll hear first-hand what happens at the sharp end of the HR business across many different organisational cultures – from the challenges of identifying talent to how it feels to attend a tribunal.

Chart your career direction

Our Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management is for professionals who want to look realistically and confidently towards the higher levels of HR management. Career development planning is at the heart of the course and you will be fully prepared to meet the continuing professional development (CPD) requirements of your profession.

From the outset, you will reflect on your experience, practice, ambitions and skills gaps to create a clear route to future success. You will be allocated a personal tutor with strong HR experience who will help you develop your critical self-analysis skills and build your professional identity.

We encourage you to look ahead to your next career steps, including the opportunity to ‘top up’ your qualification to the in one further year of part-time study.

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Postgraduate Open Event

Join us at an upcoming Postgraduate Open Event, where you will get the opportunity to meet our expert academics and find out more about your course.

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What you will study

Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management is made up of two stages – Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma.

You’ll be introduced to the study of HR and gain an understanding of concepts, ideas and competences relating to vocational aspects of the discipline.

You’ll study modules such as:

  • Developing Professional Practice - This module equips you with a set of analytical tools and techniques to enhance your professional development, personal effectiveness and credibility at work. With a strong focus on how to add business value to your organisation, it covers areas such as leadership, critical thinking and decision-making, managing financial information and budgets, team working and interpersonal skills, resolving conflicts, influencing and coaching.
  • Human Resource Management in an International Context - This module will deepen your understanding of the external, internal, business and managerial contexts of different organisations, including the impact of internationalisation and globalisation. You’ll explore the constraints within which HR practitioners work and how they make appropriate choices aligned with the objectives of their organisation.
  • Leading, Managing and Developing People - You’ll evaluate major contemporary research and debates in HRM, including how HR practices influence business outcomes and how the value of the HR function can be measured. Covering issues of leadership, professionalism and ethics, this module looks at HRM developments in different sectors and different forms of organisations and enterprises. You’ll consider themes such as change management, flexible working initiatives, motivation and engagement within the workplace, the importance of the line manager role and the increasing emphasis on team working within organisations.

You’ll build on the foundation of knowledge you gained at the Postgraduate Certificate stage by studying these modules:

  • International Resourcing and Talent Development - The growth of human capital has been identified as a key driver of competitive advantage for organisations. On this module, you’ll examine a range of talent management strategies to attract, identify, develop, engage, retain and deploy individuals with high potential. You’ll look at how talent can be fostered through learning and development interventions and how to evaluate the impact of such interventions on the ‘bottom line’.
  • Advanced Diversity and Inclusion - The aim of this module is to explore strategic workplace diversity and inclusion in terms of communication and training, addressing workplace behaviour and analysis of trends. It focuses on historical and the present-day role of line managers and other stakeholders in promoting a fair workplace culture key to managing workplace effectiveness. Through the lens of UK legislation, and international equivalents, this module also covers how strategic actions and decisions go beyond legal compliance as it focuses on the well-being and engagement of the workforce and the effects of inequality and segregation.  
  • Strategic Employment Relations - This module aims to focus on different perspectives of employment relations, power, authority and the cooperation and conflict that varies between workplaces. The role that institutions beyond the workplace play in shaping people management policy and practice within organisations will be explored, including legal, ethical, and moral approaches to problem resolution. In addition, students will understand how people professionals work with employees and trade unions to mitigate organisational risks.

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

How you will learn

You will develop your knowledge through taught lectures, case studies, role play, debating, student presentations – both formative and summative – enquiry-based learning, and problem-solving activities. At every stage of the programme you are encouraged to apply your learning to work-based scenarios so that you can make an immediate business impact. We will challenge your ways of thinking and behaving as you seek solutions to complex business problems.
We will also encourage your commitment to lifelong learning and personal growth and help you develop a reflective, self-aware and self-critical approach. The course builds your ability to present and justify intellectually rigorous arguments.

Throughout you will develop and continuously improve skills which will serve you well in your future career: leadership, team working, partnership, networking and communication.

This programme is approved by by the CIPD therefore any changes to their Professional Standards and programmes will be reflected in our programmes as appropriate.

Lecture times

Classes for both the Certificate and Diploma stage take place on Thursdays 2-7pm (please note: the finishing time may vary between tutors and the sessions that are running) 

How you are assessed

The CIPD recognises that assessments need to be more innovative, practical and work based in order to provide application to the workplace. Therefore, the assessments on this programme are all coursework.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

Fees and funding

2024/25 (August 2024 - July 2025)



£1,050 per 20 credits




Please note fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase after one year of study.

* UK full-time fees paid within one academic year are rounded down to the nearest £50 if applicable

Additional costs and optional extras

About postgraduate awards

Please note at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the respective awards. If you have any questions please contact us.

Postgraduate Certificate60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma120 Credits
MA or MSc180 Credits

This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.

Funding your studies

Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.

Find out about funding your studiesFind out about funding your studies

Alumni discount for Derby graduates

We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.

Find out about the Alumni discountFind out about the Alumni discount

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

UK students

Apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University


For anyone aspiring to – or already in – a HR role, our Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management proves invaluable for career development, progression and professional status. As people are a vital component of any organisation, it also delivers an advantage if you are entering or considering a more general management role.

Our graduates now work across the world in HR management and director positions in public, private and not-for-profit organisations, including Boots, the NHS, Rolls-Royce, Toyota and local authorities. On completing this course, the majority of our students go on to gain promotions or secure more senior roles in other organisations.

Wherever your career takes you, we equip you with the critical self-analysis and reflective practice skills which will have a lasting impact on your success. They will underpin your career development planning, support your lifelong learning and encourage your personal growth and development.

CIPD membership

CIPD membership is highly sought after by employers looking to recruit to HR positions and our course prepares you to meet the continuing professional development (CPD) requirements of the profession.

On successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management you will have completed the knowledge criteria requirements for Advanced CIPD membership and you will automatically gain Associate status of the CIPD.

When you can also demonstrate evidence of the necessary activity and behaviour criteria, you will be ready to apply for Chartered Membership status. This can advance your career further still – opening doors to promotion, a higher salary and an increased range of job opportunities.

During your Diploma studies, we’ll give you help and guidance to make your online application for the appropriate CIPD membership level.

Ongoing careers support

Throughout your studies, you will benefit from our Personal Development Planning (PDP) scheme which enables you to reflect on your learning and refine your career ambitions.

Our support continues once you’ve completed your course too: you are entitled to further help and guidance from the Careers and Employment Service for up to three years after leaving the University.

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.

Optional costs not included in your fees

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